Fillings and Restorations
Small cavities need to be filled to keep the decay from spreading. Tooth-colored, composite resin fillings are used so that the fillings are not visible.
When a baby tooth is damaged it is sometimes necessary to restore the tooth. Large cavities, cracks, and weakened enamel may mean a stainless-steel crown is necessary. Fillings cannot be used because these teeth are usually durable enough to withstand regular chewing forces in the mouth. The crown is placed over the tooth like a hat to protect it until permanent teeth come in.
Baby Root Canal or Pulpotomy
The throbbing pain may be a sign of a very large cavity. This means that the cavity has hit the nerve of the baby tooth and it might be inflamed or infected. This situation may call for a root canal, which will remove the infected nerve and blood vessels (known as the pulp). Once the infection is removed, special medicine is put on top of the nerve. It is different from an adult root canal, plus, it only takes a few minutes in a single visit. No follow-up appointments are usually necessary.
It is better to have a baby root canal and save the damaged tooth than to extract the baby tooth. This allows all of the teeth to grow into the right places and helps guide the permanent tooth into its proper place. Keeping all of the teeth intact is important for retaining the full functionality of the jaws, teeth, and tongue, which helps prevent speech problems and future orthodontic complications.
It occasionally happens that a “baby” molar tooth may get loose and fall out earlier than normal. The causes could be trauma, not enough space or infection. When the permanent tooth meant to take its place is close to the surface, it might be OK to leave it be. But when it is not, a space maintainer may be used. This is a small appliance that will reserve the space, awaiting the permanent tooth’s arrival. Without this, the other teeth could move into that space and create issues down the line. The appliance is very small and after a few days, your child should be used to it. There are special hygiene and dietetic needs that Dr. Nanna will provide as needed.